Thursday, January 30, 2014

Artful Friday~ DIY Paper Lantern: Light up a Winter Night With a Doctor Who "Torch!"

Welcome, friends, to another Artful Friday!
As you know, we're super -Whovian here, having concocted
cakes (Tardis and Dalek)
and sonic screwdriver goodies for birthday parties!
My son even made hos own Raggedy Doctor!
He is always creating something and recently 
 made this paper lantern easily and with craft supplies that 
we had on hand.
If you're candle crazy as we are, and especially love  lighting up and
bringing a special glow to a 
frigid  winter evening, 
then you won't even need to 
purchase the little votive to  place inside!

Here is the finished product:
He ( natch) decorated his lantern with 
Whovian charm, but of course, 
your kids will go with whatever they're crazy about at the moment.
(We love you anyway, even if you choose not to
 go the DW route for your lantern!)
You know how the Brits suavely 
 call a flashlight and a lantern  a "torch?"
Well, that's what he's calling it ~!
 The TARDIS and a Silence on this side

An Ood and a DALEK over here.

The easy how -to? Here we go:
What you need:
Paper ( construction or card stock)
crayons or colored pencils
ruler ( to measure and to  draw straight lines for cutting
votive candle   ~ battery operated, obviously

How to make the lantern:
1.  Hold the paper horizontally  and draw a lines one inch  from  the top and the  bottom edges across the paper.  (This will become the top and bottom of the lantern itself.)

2.  Draw lines 1/4 " in distance vertically across the paper.
You might like to start drawing the lines 1" in from the left and the right edges.  This  will be the "margin" that you will tape or glue together. 

( BTW, I  did not take pictures of each step of my son's creation, but these shots are  a little "guidance" to get you going.)

3.  Draw a design of your own in between the  1" margins of the paper.

4. Cut on each of these 1/4 inch spaced  lines, but stop at the top and bottom edges of the lantern.

5. Fold your paper in half lengthwise so that you now  have a long skinny piece of paper (with lines cut across it!)

6. Fold in 1/2 again so that you now have one square piece of paper.

7. Unfold and tape or glue the edges of the wide side of the paper together. (  in that "margin" that you made)

The lantern will  now "stand" on its own, beveling out a bit at the middle, 
boasting your child's lovely design!

You can add the votive candle for a beautiful glow 
which will light up a porch, an end table, a kitchen counter
 or any place you'd like!!

I'd LOVE to see pictures of your lantern!
Please come back and share!
For my previous "Artful Friday" posts, 
you might like to click below.....
They're all here if you'd like to dust off something from the archives:

 ( knitting, winter crafts, the theater and piano)

Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 

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Until next time,


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blogging Honesty and Encouragement ~ The Sunshine Awards

Welcome, friends and thanks for stopping by for....
drumroll please....
The Sunshine Blogging Awards!
If you're lucky enough to know Nancy, then you've already read her 
hilarious Sunshine acceptance-and-bestowing-
upon-others-Award post.
If you've not had the pleasure, click here  for
 "Awards, Kisses and Uh - Oh Sharks"
and enjoy!
And if you  love Audrey Hepburn, click here for
more uniquely Shuman Humor!
But come back after visiting Nancy's.
 Because while my Sunshine post is not 
as witty or original as is Nancy's,
you'll want to stick around to  take a peek at the 
many amazing bloggers to whom I'm excited to pass this award!
(and for a glimpse of the Sunshine Award's
"top 10's" fascinating facts about yours truly.)

And trust me, I'm only fascinating by the company I keep,
my friends!

"Rules" for a Sunshine Blog Award?
Here they are :
1.  Use the award logo in the post.
2.  Link to the nominating blogger.
3.  Write 10 pieces of information about yourself.
4.  Nominate fellow bloggers

 "who positively and creatively inspire
 others in the blogosphere."
5.  Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them of the award.

I've decided in the interest of saving time, 
I'd cheat a bit on the last rule by contacting all 
( or most of ) the Sunshine
nominees at one time on FB.....
Seems my laptop's attached to me these days 
and the simple FB message 
 gives me a chance to streamline online time a bit!

There are sooooo many bloggers who exemplify
 positivity and creativity in the blogosphere that
made this such a hard choice!
I absolutely could not pare down the list to 10
(at the risk of negating my own nomination!)
These are amazing ladies who not only inspire with their creativity,
but blog authentically and with integrity
 and have enfolded me within their writing and blogging communities.
I'd consider each a friend,
 though I have never met any of these ladies "in real life"
and in fact, they are spread across three continents!
If you've not visited any of the bloggers below, 
I strongly encourage you to do so!
~~ You will be richer for it! ~~~

In no order at all, here they are:

Anne Marie at Future Flying Saucers

Jennifer at Catholic Inspired

Sheila at Longings End

Emily at  Em's Estuary

Candace at Candace Creates

Lucinda at Navigating by Joy

Crystal at Serving Joyfully

Roxane at Peace Garden Writer

Lisa at The Squishable Baby

Jess at Benoit Academy

Congrats, ladies!
Thanks for being you
and having such an impact on my life!~
Can't wait to see who you choose and read your 10 pieces of info!

Now, for the "10 things about myself"
which may  or may not be news to you if you've 
been reading my blog for any length of time!

1. I love travelling! When I was young Mom and Dad took us all over the USA; hubby and I traveled much BC too ( "Before Children") I've been to 48 states in the USA, never had the pleasure of visiting North Dakota ( Roxane's home!) or Alaska! We've spent the past few summers traveling with the boys across the country, as well. I love to blog our travels and last summer's adventures can be found in my Forever West posts.

Glacier National Park -  July 2012

2. I've lived in NY all my life; Queens is a great place to grow up!  Really.
You've seen "All in the Family?" That's my childhood home.  My Dad, however, had only   conservative political thinking, not extreme prejudice,   in common with Archie Bunker. 
So I met this guy on a blind date 22 years ago from Longuyland, ( not a native Queens-ite??) married him and bought a house "out east."  About 60 miles east of NYC. 
And. I. Do. Not. Tawk. Like. A. Newyawka. Not.

3.  I loooooove planning birthday parties for my kids and making themed cakes. Love it. Party planning takes over my life. Here's a  recent party we threw for Timmy's 10th! Doctor Who, pirates, western, Civil War, Pokemon, chess, mystery, science, Hunger name the theme and we've done it.

4. My Mom passed away 5 years ago; my Dad, 21. I miss them every day and  I write about them often. I grew up fiercely patriotic and still am, to this day, as Dad was a US Army Infantryman in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Growing up, my family was also staunchly and unequivocally 100% pro life.  I remember my family's reaction with grimness and sadness to  the passing of Roe v Wade in '73 when I was only 7. As parents, my husband and I have ( hopefully) instilled  in our kids the sanctity of life and are raising sons who march for life  ( every January in DC) and defend the defenseless whenever they can.

October 3, 1943
Mom and Dad

5. I'm an unstoppable poker player...I'm unbeatable at Texas Hold 'Em....But honestly, I'm super non competitive and it drives my testosterone-soaked household nuts that I really don't care whether or not I win that round of backgammon, gin or Monopoly!

6. Despite my  last name, I'm only Italian by marriage;  I'm 100% Irish!  Alas, my poor kids are <sniff> only 1/2 Irish...... !    All four of my grandparents emigrated from Ireland  to NY. They endured harsh living conditions in tenements on the lower west side and  had all passed into Eternal Life by the time I was born. I know they'd be quite proud to see that their vision of The American Dream is being lived by all of their grandchildren and great grandchildren. I take nothing for granted.

7. My husband is supportive, brilliant ( he doesn't think so, but I do) and fun. Even though we drive each other crazy on occasion, I love him more every day. We had a Christmas-time wedding in '96 and have been married for 17 years.

8.  Love chocolate. Love it. 

9. I'm the youngest of five.

10. I absolutely love blogging and writing and hope one day to publish ( to a wider forum that my little blogspot home here!) I'm thinking and planning for a collection of memoir.

Friends, as always, I thank you for visiting and spending some
of your precious time here at my home on the web!
You can enter to win a free copy of Crystal's
No crazy copying and pasting tweet url's...
on the rafflecopter.
It's all very simple; I promise!

Good luck!

The entry form is open from midnight to midnight
on January 29 through Feb 6.
Friends, as always,  thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!
Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Intentional Marriage ~ A Book Review and Giveaway!

Welcome friends!
Thanks for stopping by on this day that has 
 temps dipping into  single digits!
Hope you're staying warm!
When I began blogging a little over a year ago, 
I had no idea 
that the community of writers to which I'd 
be enfolded,  
be welcomed,
be  blessed to become a part, 
would literally change my life.
Yes, these women unselfishly share childcare tips,
home management advice, 
homeschool curriculum adaptations.
But much more than that, they share their
hearts and souls as they write
about the stuff that matters.
Crystal is one such blogger who writes honestly and meaningfully and
such is the case with her new  book
a 31 day devotional,

Crystal blogs at Serving Joyfully
with  integrity and encouragement.
When I heard that she was authoring a book?
On marriage and intentionally loving our husbands?
I was thrilled.
I knew, quite honestly, that I'd benefit greatly.
And so would many many women who'd be
graced with her writing venture.
If I am blessed  by a simple blog post from Crystal
in my inbox, then all would be grace, given her book!
And to have the opportunity to be included as part of
 Crystal's launch team? 
Well, that was the icing on the cake!
I'm happy to say that my expectations were exceeded as I 
eagerly read  and made notes throughout her book.

I'm excited to share Crystal's wisdom and tangible steps to 
enhancing all our marriages!~~ 
As  Crystal states in her Introduction,
"The biggest threat to marriages in our modern world is neglect,"
she therefore follows
with 32 devotions 
 ( intended for a 31 day month and an additional entry entitled "What now?")
Each day,  readers are treated to an inspirational scripture verse,
followed by a challenge, such as 
"Focus on Forgiveness"
and 'Look Out for His Interests,"
concluding with an introspective question to motivate and further enhance 
the day's meaning.
As Crystal shares, the book is intended to spark action, not readings;
therefore the scripture verses and motivational guidance she provides 
are purposely kept short. 

I can't recommend Crystal's devotional highly enough,
 as I personally have  been so inspired.
I'm working through the strategies myself, albeit still toward the beginning.
I love it!

Crystal's family is blessed to have her as their matriarch,
 just as we are
blessed to know her and
enhance our life's journey alongside our husbands
The book launched this week and  is available at amazon,
for $2.99 until January 31.
After that, the cost increases to $4.99.
So, really, obtain  your copy asap!

You can, however, enter a giveaway right here

All you need to do is follow the easy instructions in the Rafflecopter below by
becoming a Facebook fan of

The entry form is open from midnight to midnight
on January 20 to Feb 6.

Good luck!

Before you enter the rafflecopter though,
please click to crystal's for free printable date night cards...
Perfectly timed for Valentine's Day, right??
You must go take a look!

Friends, as always,  thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!
Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are YOU One of 21 Winners in the Catholic Bloggers' Birthday Giveaway? Announcement~


Congratulations to the Winners ~~~!
We have selected 21 winners to each
 receive one of the 21 awesome prizes!
We have emailed the winners…
(actually Monica  of Equipping Catholic Families
did all the work!!)
so if one of these names looks like yours…
check your inbox (and maybe your spam folder)!
We need you to reply as soon as possible with the information requested in the email so that we can allocate the prizes, 
with special consideration to your first and second choice of prize!
Thanks to all who entered!!
And again a huge shout out to my friend Monica,
who managed this herculean effort!!

Please come back again tomorrow  for my review and giveaway 
of Crystal's new book,  Intentional Marriage!!

Please respond by 9pm on January 28, 2014.
drumroll please…
A. Faber
M. Koralewski
M. Natores
C. Weitzel
B.M. Harrell
E. Brana
L. Jasmin
A. Durocher
M. Reyna
M. Oberle
R. Longwell
M. Roy
C. Sconochini
A. Good
D. Harre
T.D. Masters
S. Patterson
A.D. Hilker
J.J. Ramirez
A. O’Donoughue

Friends, as always,  thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!
Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,